DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00161

Advances in Psychological Science (心理科学进展) 2020/28:1 PP.161-177

How does “one takes on the attributes of one's associates”? The past, present, and future of Trait Activation Theory

Trait Activation Theory aims to elaborate how relevant situations could activate individuals' internal traits, and how the activation processes trigger the implicit traits expressed as explicit behaviors. The current study articulates the emergence, the baseline and extended theoretical models of Trait Activation Theory, and specifically explains the situational taxonomies, various trait activation processes, and the activated outcomes. The essence of trait activation and its boundary were also shown through the comparison with "P-E" Fit Theory and Situational Strength Theory. Future studies could explore the current theoretical model in depth and breadth, particularly enrich the "to be activated" alternatives and the situational taxonomies.

Key words:trait activation,Trait Activation Theory,trait-expressive behavior,trait-relevant cues,situational taxonomies

ReleaseDate:2019-12-28 14:18:58

段锦云, 曹莹. (2015). 自我监控对建言行为的影响:内部人身份感知的作用. 心理科学, 38(6), 1452-1458.

彭坚, 王霄, 冉雅璇, 韩雪亮. (2016). 积极追随特质一定能提升工作产出吗——仁慈领导的激活作用. 南开管理评论, 19(4), 135-146.

唐贵瑶, 吴湘繁, 吴维库, 李鹏程. (2016). 管理者大五人格与心理契约违背对辱虐管理的影响:基于特质激发理论的实证分析. 心理科学, 39(2), 454-460.

吴湘繁, 关浩光, 马洁. (2015). 员工为什么热衷于构建职场关系网络——基于特质激发理论的实证研究. 外国经济与管理, 37(6), 50-63.

张志学. (2010). 组织心理学研究的情境化及多层次理论. 心理学报, 42(1), 10-21.

周冉, 段锦云, 田晓明. (2011). 情境相关性及其对"特质-工作结果"的调节作用. 心理科学进展, 19(1), 132-141.

Alston, W. P. (1975). Traits, consistency and conceptual alternatives for personality theory. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 5(1), 17-48.

Bamberger, P. (2008). From the editors beyond contextualization:Using context theories to narrow the micro-macro gap in management research. Academy of Management Journal, 51(5), 839-846.

Bell, S. T., Fisher, D. M., Brown, S. G., & Mann, K. E. (2018). An approach for conducting actionable research with extreme teams. Journal of Management, 44(7), 2740-2765.

Belschak, F. D., Jacobs, G., Giessner, S. R., Horton, K. E., & Bayerl, P. S. (2017, August). The role of Machiavellianism in employee reactions to organizational change-PEO Withdrawn (WITHDRAWN). Paper presented at the Academy of Management Proceedings, Atlanta, Georgia.

Bergman, M. E., Benzer, J. K., Kabins, A. H., Bhupatkar, A., & Panina, D. (2013). An event-based perspective on the development of commitment. Human Resource Management Review, 23(2), 148-160.

Blazer, D. G., & Hernandez, L. M. (2006). Genes, behavior, and the social environment:Moving beyond the nature/nurture debate. Washington:National Academies Press.

Burt, R. S., & Opper, S. (2017). Early network events in the later success of Chinese entrepreneurs. Management Organization Review, 13(3), 497-537.

Byrne, K. A., Silasi-Mansat, C. D., & Worthy, D. A. (2015). Who chokes under pressure? The Big Five personality traits and decision-making under pressure. Personality and Individual Differences, 74, 22-28.

Cai, W. J., Lysova, E. I., Bossink, B. A. G., Khapova, S. N., & Wang, W. D. (2019). Psychological capital and self-reported employee creativity:The moderating role of supervisor support and job characteristics. Creativity Innovation Management. 28(1), 30-41.

Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (1993). When do individual differences matter? A paradoxical theory of personality coherence. Psychological Inquiry, 4(4), 247-271.

Castille, C. M., Buckner, J. E., & Thoroughgood, C. N. (2018). Prosocial citizens without a moral compass? Examining the relationship between Machiavellianism and unethical pro-organizational behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 149(4), 919-930.

Chen, G., Kirkman, B. L., Kim, K., Farh, C. I. C., & Tangirala, S. (2010). When does cross-cultural motivation enhance expatriate effectiveness? A multilevel investigation of the moderating roles of subsidiary support and cultural distance. Academy of Management Journal, 53(5), 1110-1130.

Christian, J. S., & Ellis, A. P. J. (2014). The crucial role of turnover intentions in transforming moral disengagement into deviant behavior at work. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(2), 193-208.

D'Agostino, P. R., & Beegle, W. (1996). A reevaluation of the evidence for spontaneous trait inferences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 32(2), 153-164.

Dahling, J. J., Whitaker, B. G., & Levy, P. E. (2009). The development and validation of a new Machiavellianism scale. Journal of Management, 35(2), 219-257.

Daniels, K., Beesley, N., Cheyne, A., & Wimalasiri, V. (2016). Safety climate and increased risk:The role of deadlines in design work. Human Relations, 69(5), 1185-1207.

Dawkins, S., Tian, A. W., Newman, A., & Martin, A. (2017). Psychological ownership:A review and research agenda. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 38(2), 163-183.

de Clercq, D., Haq, I. U., & Azeem, M. U. (2018). The roles of informational unfairness and political climate in the relationship between dispositional envy and job performance in Pakistani organizations. Journal of Business Research, 82, 117-126.

Edwards, J. R. (2008). 4 Person-environment fit in organizations:An assessment of theoretical progress. The Academy of Management Annals, 2(1), 167-230.

Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71(3), 500-507.

Farh, C. I. C. C., Seo, M. -G., & Tesluk, P. E. (2012). Emotional intelligence, teamwork effectiveness, and job performance:The moderating role of job context. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(4), 890-900.

Gansen-Ammann, D. -N., Meurs, J. A., Wihler, A., & Blickle, G. (2019). Political skill and manager performance:Exponential and asymptotic relationships due to differing levels of enterprising job demands. Group & Organization Management. 44(4), 718-744.

Grant, A. M., Fried, Y., & Juillerat, T. (2011). Work matters:Job design in classic and contemporary perspectives. In S. Zedeck (Ed.), APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 417-453). Washington, DC, US:American Psychological Association.

Greenbaum, R. L., Hill, A., Mawritz, M. B., & Quade, M. J. (2017). Employee Machiavellianism to unethical behavior:The role of abusive supervision as a trait activator. Journal of Management, 43(2), 585-609.

Halbesleben, J. R. B., Neveu, J. -P., Paustian-Underdahl, S. C., & Westman, M. (2014). Getting to the "COR" understanding the role of resources in conservation of resources theory. Journal of Management, 40(5), 1334-1364.

Harms, P. D., Bai, Y., & Han, G. H. (2016). How leader and follower attachment styles are mediated by trust. Human Relations, 69(9), 1853-1876.

Hirst, G., van Knippenberg, D., Chen, C. -H., & Sacramento, C. A. (2011). How does bureaucracy impact individual creativity? A cross-level investigation of team contextual influences on goal orientation-creativity relationships. Academy of Management Journal, 54(3), 624-641.

Hochwarter, W. A., Witt, L. A., Treadway, D. C., & Ferris, G. R. (2006). The interaction of social skill and organizational support on job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(2), 482-489.

Jansen, K. J., & Kristof-Brown, A. (2006). Toward a multidimensional theory of person-environment fit. Journal of Managerial Issues, 18(2), 193-212.

Johns, G. (2006). The essential impact of context on organizational behavior. Academy of Management Review, 31(2), 386-408.

Johns, G. (2017). Reflections on the 2016 decade award:Incorporating context in organizational research. Academy of Management Review, 42(4), 577-595.

Johns, G. (2018). Advances in the treatment of context in organizational research. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 5, 21-46.

Jonason, P. K., Wee, S., & Li, N. P. (2015). Competition, autonomy, and prestige:Mechanisms through which the Dark Triad predict job satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 72, 112-116.

Judge, T. A., & Zapata, C. P. (2015). The person-situation debate revisited:Effect of situation strength and trait activation on the validity of the Big Five personality traits in predicting job performance. Academy of Management Journal, 58(4), 1149-1179.

Kacmar, K. M., Collins, B. J., Harris, K. J., & Judge, T. A. (2009). Core self-evaluations and job performance:The role of the perceived work environment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6), 1572-1580.

Kessler, S. R., Bandelli, A. C., Spector, P. E., Borman, W. C., Nelson, C. E., & Penney, L. M. (2010). Re-examining Machiavelli:A three-dimensional model of Machiavellianism in the workplace. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40(8), 1868-1896.

Kim, K., del Carmen Triana, M., Chung, K., & Oh, N. (2016). When do employees cyberloaf? An interactionist perspective examining personality, justice, and empowerment. Human Resource Management, 55(6), 1041-1058.

Kim, Y. -J., van Dyne, L., Kamdar, D., & Johnson, R. E. (2013). Why and when do motives matter? An integrative model of motives, role cognitions, and social support as predictors of OCB. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 121(2), 231-245.

Kristof, A. L. (1996). Person-organization fit:An integrative review of its conceptualizations, measurement, and implications. Personnel Psychology, 49(1), 1-49.

Lam, L. W., & Xu, A. J. (2019). Power imbalance and employee silence:The role of abusive leadership, power distance orientation, and perceived organisational politics. Applied Psychology. 68(3), 513-546.

Lan, J. B., Cai, Z. Y., Huo, Y. Y., Law, R. C. M., & Chang, S. (2016, August). The effect of prosocial motivation on taking charge and job performance. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Proceedings, California.

Lee, J., Yun, S., Lee, S., & Lee, H. J. (2018). The curvilinear relationship between self-efficacy and creativity:The moderating role of supervisor close monitoring. Journal of Business and Psychology. 34(3), 377-388.

Lee, S., & Dalal, R. S. (2016). Climate as situational strength:Safety climate strength as a cross-level moderator of the relationship between conscientiousness and safety behaviour. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(1), 120-132.

Leiter, M. P., Laschinger, H. K. S., Day, A., & Oore, D. G. (2011). The impact of civility interventions on employee social behavior, distress, and attitudes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(6), 1258-1274.

Li, C. W., Sun, L. Y., & Dong, Y. T. (2018). Innovating via building absorptive capacity:Interactive effects of top management support of learning, employee learning orientation and decentralization structure. Creativity Innovation Management, 27(4), 431-443.

Liao, Z. Y., Li, W. D., de Pater, I. E., Liu, J., & Wang, D. W. (2015, August). A multilevel study on antecedents of abusive supervision:A trait activation approach. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Proceedings, Vancouver, Canada.

Liu, H., Chiang, J. T. -J., Fehr, R., Xu, M., & Wang, S. (2017). How do leaders react when treated unfairly? Leader narcissism and self-interested behavior in response to unfair treatment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(11), 1590-1599.

Loehlin, J. C. (1992). Genes and environment in personality development. Newbury Park, CA:Sage.

Lu, Q. (2018, August). A Comparison of situation strength theory with trait activation theory. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Proceedings. Chicago.

McClelland, D. C. (1973). Testing for competence rather than for "intelligence". American Psychologist, 28(1), 1-14.

McFarland, L. A., & Ployhart, R. E. (2015). Social media:A contextual framework to guide research and practice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(6), 1653-1677.

Meyer, R. D., Dalal, R. S., & Hermida, R. (2010). A review and synthesis of situational strength in the organizational sciences. Journal of Management, 36(1), 121-140.

Meyer, R. D., Dalal, R. S., José, I. J., Hermida, R., Chen, T. R., Vega, R. P.,… Khare, V. P. (2014). Measuring job-related situational strength and assessing its interactive effects with personality on voluntary work behavior. Journal of Management, 40(4), 1010-1041.

Miao, C., Humphrey, R. H., & Qian, S. S. (2018). A cross-cultural meta-analysis of how leader emotional intelligence influences subordinate task performance and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of World Business, 53(4), 463-474.

Min, Q. F., Liu, Z. H., & Ji, S. B. (2010, January). Communication effectiveness in global virtual teams:A case study of software outsourcing industry in China. Proceedings of the 2010 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Hawaii.

Molinsky, A. L., Grant, A. M., & Margolis, J. D. (2012). The bedside manner of homo economicus:How and why priming an economic schema reduces compassion. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 119(1), 27-37.

Morgeson, F. P., Mitchell, T. R., & Liu, D. (2015). Event system theory:An event-oriented approach to the organizational sciences. Academy of Management Review, 40(4), 515-537.

Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in personality. New York:Oxford University Press.

Newman, A., Donohue, R., & Eva, N. (2017). Psychological safety:A systematic review of the literature. Human Resource Management Review, 27(3), 521-535.

Ng, K. -Y., Ang, S., & Chan, K. Y. (2008). Personality and leader effectiveness:A moderated mediation model of leadership self-efficacy, job demands, and job autonomy. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(4), 733-743.

Oc, B. (2018). Contextual leadership:A systematic review of how contextual factors shape leadership and its outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 29(1), 218-235.

Oliver, T., Hausdorf, P., Lievens, F., & Conlon, P. (2016). Interpersonal dynamics in assessment center exercises:Effects of role player portrayed disposition. Journal of Management, 42(7), 1992-2017.

Oreg, S., & Berson, Y. (2015). Personality and charismatic leadership in context:The moderating role of situational stress. Personnel Psychology, 68(1), 49-77.

Palmer, J. C., Komarraju, M., Carter, M. Z., & Karau, S. J. (2017). Angel on one shoulder:Can perceived organizational support moderate the relationship between the Dark Triad traits and counterproductive work behavior? Personality and Individual Differences, 110, 31-37.

Park, J. Y., & Nawakitphaitoon, K. (2018). The cross-cultural study of LMX and individual employee voice:The moderating role of conflict avoidance. Human Resource Management Journal, 28(1), 14-30.

Phaneuf, J. É., Boudrias, J. S., Rousseau, V., & Brunelle, É. (2016). Personality and transformational leadership:The moderating effect of organizational context. Personality and Individual Differences, 102, 30-35.

Phipps, S. T. A., Prieto, L. C., Deis, M. H. (2015). The role of personality in organizational citizenship behavior:Introducing counterproductive work behavior and integrating impression management as a moderating factor. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications, Conflict, 19(1), 176-196.

Poppleton, S., Briner, R. B., & Kiefer, T. (2008). The roles of context and everyday experience in understanding work-non-work relationships:A qualitative diary study of white-and blue-collar workers. Journal of Occupational Organizational Psychology, 81(3), 481-502.

Robbins, S.P. (1992). Essentials of organizational behavior (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Prentice Hall.

Rousseau, D. M., & Fried, Y. (2001). Location, location, location:Contextualizing organizational research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22(1), 1-13.

Ryan, L. C. (2017). Empowering adaptive performance through trait activation:A leader's impact. (Unpublished doctorial dissertation). Saint Louis University.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.

Smith, M. B., & Webster, B. D. (2017). A moderated mediation model of Machiavellianism, social undermining, political skill, and supervisor-rated job performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 453-459.

Soane, E., Booth, J. E., Alfes, K., Shantz, A., & Bailey, C. (2018). Deadly combinations:How leadership contexts Undermine the activation and enactment of followers' high core self-evaluations in performance. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(3), 297-309.

Spurk, D., & Abele, A. E. (2011). Who earns more and why? A multiple mediation model from personality to salary. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26(1), 87-103.

Stiglbauer, B. (2017). Under what conditions does job control moderate the relationship between time pressure and employee well-being? Investigating the role of match and personal control beliefs. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 38(5), 730-748.

Sung, S. Y., & Choi, J. N. (2009). Do big five personality factors affect individual creativity? The moderating role of extrinsic motivation. Social Behavior and Personality:An International Journal, 37(7), 941-956.

Tasselli, S., Kilduff, M., & Landis, B. (2018). Personality change:Implications for organizational behavior. Academy of Management Annals, 12(2), 467-493.

Tett, R. P., & Burnett, D. D. (2003). A personality trait-based interactionist model of job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(3), 500-517.

Tett, R. P., & Guterman, H. A. (2000). Situation trait relevance, trait expression, and cross-situational consistency:Testing a principle of trait activation. Journal of Research in Personality, 34(4), 397-423.

Tett, R. P., Simonet, D. V., Walser, B., & Brown, C. (2013). Trait activation theory:Applications, developments, and implications for person-workplace fit. In N. D. Christiansen & R. P. Tett (Eds.), Handbook of personality at work (pp. 71-100). New York, NY:Routledge.

To, M. L., Fisher, C. D., & Ashkanasy, N. M. (2015). Unleashing angst:Negative mood, learning goal orientation, psychological empowerment and creative behaviour. Human Relations, 68(10), 1601-1622.

van Hoye, G., & Turban, D. B. (2015). Applicant-Employee Fit in Personality:Testing predictions from similarity-attraction theory and trait activation theory. International Journal of Selection, 23(3), 210-223.

Wang, L., Malhotra, D., & Murnighan, J. K. (2011). Economics education and greed. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10(4), 643-660.

Wang, Z. X., Zhang, J., Thomas, C. L., Yu, J., & Spitzmueller, C. (2017). Explaining benefits of employee proactive personality:The role of engagement, team proactivity composition and perceived organizational support. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 101, 90-103.

Wegman, L. A., Hoffman, B. J., Carter, N. T., Twenge, J. M., & Guenole, N. (2018). Placing job characteristics in context:Cross-temporal meta-analysis of changes in job characteristics since 1975. Journal of Management, 44(1), 352-386.

Whitney, P., Davis, P. A., & Waring, D. A. (1994). Task effects on trait inference:Distinguishing categorization from characterization. Social Cognition, 12(1), 19-35.

Wihler, A., Meurs, J. A., Wiesmann, D., Troll, L., & Blickle, G. (2017). Extraversion and adaptive performance:Integrating trait activation and socioanalytic personality theories at work. Personality and Individual Differences, 116, 133-138.

Wiltshire, J., Bourdage, J. S., & Lee, K. (2014). Honesty-humility and perceptions of organizational politics in predicting workplace outcomes. Journal of Business and Psychology, 29(2), 235-251.

Woods, S. A., Mustafa, M. J., Anderson. N., Sayer, B. (2018). Innovative work behavior and personality traits:Examining the moderating effects of organizational tenure, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 33(1), 29-42.

Zhang, J. M., Wang, Y., & Zhang, M. Y. (2018). Team leaders matter in knowledge sharing:A cross-level analysis of the interplay between leaders' and members' goal orientations in the Chinese context. Management Organization Review, 14(4), 715-745.

Zhou, Q., Hirst, G., & Shipton, H. (2012). Context matters:Combined influence of participation and intellectual stimulation on the promotion focus-employee creativity relationship. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33(7), 894-909.